Toronto FC among tournament favorites despite unsettled preparations

Despite less than ideal preparations, Toronto FC have one of the more favorable odds to win the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando.

It is somewhat of an understatement to say Toronto FC have had a fair amount to contend with recently. As a result, their preparations for the MLS is Back Tournament have been unsettled.

As we wrote during the weekend, TFC had to undergo another round of testing after a member of their travel party told the medical staff they were experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This resulted in the club twice delaying their flight to Florida.

TFC finally arrived in Orlando on Monday, to check in at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Interestingly, their arrival coincided with the news that FC Dallas were to be removed from the MLS tournament, due to 10 players and a member of their staff testing positive for the coronavirus.

With MLS receiving a lot of questions and criticism about going ahead with the tournament at this time, TFC’s late arrival unsurprisingly impacted their own schedule. Originally set to play D.C. United on Friday, the opening match for each team has now been moved back to Sunday.

Helping compound the Reds’ unsettled preparations, they will also be without Ifunanyachi Achara for the rest of the 2020 season. Despite having only been in Toronto a short time, he has quickly become an integral member of the roster and will be sorely missed.

Despite all this uncertainty, TFC are still considered among the favorites to win the MLS is Back Tournament. This speaks volumes about their talent and the respect they command, understandable after appearing in three of the last four MLS Cup finals.

As per Gilles Gallant of Odds Shark, TFC are at +1400 to win the tournament as per odds released on Monday. This places them as fifth-favorites to lift the trophy in Orlando.

Among the clubs with better odds to win the tournament are Los Angeles FC and the Seattle Sounders, at +500 and +800 respectively. LAFC set an MLS record for regular season points last year while — as TFC are well aware — the Sounders won the MLS Cup.

The other two clubs with better odds that the Reds, are Atlanta United at +900 and New York City FC at +1000. From a Canadian perspective, the Montreal Impact are ranked 13th at +2500, while the Vancouver Whitecaps are a lowly 23rd at +6600.

TFC’s three group games against D.C. United, Montreal and the New England Revolution will count towards the 2020 regular season standings. In addition, the overall winner of the tournament will clinch a spot in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.

Next: TFC suffer injury blow ahead of MLS tournament

What is your prediction for Toronto FC in the MLS is Back Tournament? How successful do you believe they will be in Orlando? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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